It's Day One for Mary Bomar

If everything has gone well, by the time you read this Mary Bomar will be the next director of the National Park Service. This morning at 9 am EDT she will have been sworn in at a ceremony behind Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Interior Secretary Dick Kempthorne will have performed the ceremony making Bomar the 17th director of the service. Having the ceremony at Independence will be a nice start for Bomar who had once been the Superintendent of that historical park. Bomar will want a nice start, as I'm sure she is probably a little surprised at all the recent questions surrounding her opinions and past actions.

I believe the selection of Bomar may be in the best current interests of the parks. The NPS Director is stuck square in the middle of having to please the politicos in D.C. and having to lead an agency which is being starved by those same politicians. The role is one that requires an inside knowledge of the process, and with a career in government, Bomar may be that person.

She has already stirred up a little controversy though. In written remarks to a senate subcommittee on parks, Bomar suggested that she had no problem with snowmobiles operating inside of Yellowstone. That answer came as a big surprise to folks who have been working on the snowmobile question for years. Bomar's remarks go against current scientific thought on the issue.

And recently questions have surfaced regarding a long-term lease to a private commercial developer at NPS managed Sandy Hook. In a recent guest opinion, Carole Balmer, the former deputy mayor of Holmdel, has frank words about the relationship that Bomar may have had with this deal, and asks that the Congress investigate her actions. Here are a couple paragraphs from that opinion piece in the Asbury Park Press last Friday
The unprecedented number of extensions granted to the developer in order for him to comply with the conditions of approval is highly irregular. Thousands of petitioners have submitted objections to the park service procedures for "public meetings" and have repeatedly questioned the lack of full public disclosure for the lease.
There has been ongoing lack of minimal compliance with federal and state statues and a total disregard of the park service's stated mission. It is my understanding that many of the publicly perceived flawed procedures for the review of the agreement with Wassel Realty took place under Bomar's watch as Northeast Regional Director. Congress must pay special attention to the issues that have clouded the approval process and insist on accountability.

Bomar must disclose her prior directives for and participation in the approval processes during her term as regional director. A thorough examination of procedural errors and irregularities regarding approvals for activities in the Northeast region must be conducted by Congress. Their findings must be made available for public review.
For Bomar, this is day one. The job probably won't get any easier after today. I hope she can fulfill the many needs of our parks with the same ease she exhibited during her nomination process.

(I wonder too if the NPS Director Message will change today)





Unofortunately this may not be the best option for the park service. Mary Bomar used to be superintendent at INDEPENDENCe NHP where I know work as an LE ranger. This place to has to be the most screwed up park out there. the amount of double standards and incompetent supervisors and managers has made this place a rotten place to be employed. My advice is to watch Bomar's actions closely, Independence park is full of slimy supervisors and managers and she was no exception when she was here.
I'm concerned that NPS is promoting junk science about the Grand Canyon: how can it support the publication of a book (I HOPE it has been retracted) that claims that the GC was created by runoff from Noah's (apocryphal) flood?